Research suggests that the growing numbers of bilingual speakers may have an advantage that goes beyond communication: It turns out that being bilingual is also good for your brain.
That's excellent news and motivation for my possibly Quixotic quest to learn on my own how to read/write Chinese.
The NPR article continues:
The idea that children exposed to two languages from birth become confused or that they fall behind monolingual children is a common misconception, says Janet Werker, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who studies language acquisition in bilingual babies.
I'm not a researcher in this area, but I think this sounds right -- except that I do recall one incident to the contrary, sort of. Back when he was in daycare, my older son liked to be picked up and held by the daycare teachers. And when he was on his own and then felt the need for some attention, he would walk over to a teacher, hold his arms up, and ask to be held.
Only, the way he asked was, "Bao bao me." Bao bao being Chinese for "hold" or "hug."
His teachers had no clue what he was trying to say, until we found out about this and explained to them what bao bao meant.